Photo By Wes Turner - #5 Drexler Jaynes
Written by Brandon Hill
The battle for the Buhl Indians’ season will be won or lost by the team’s rising stars.
Fifth-year head coach Seth Blick returns to the program having lost key leaders both in the locker room and on the field, and ahead of 2020’s kickoff, said his juniors will be the ones he relies on to bring the Black and Orange its first state title since the ‘70s.
To replace the leadership of since-graduated Jake Juker and Reese Jarvis, senior quarterback Drexler Jaynes will need all the help he can get to turn last year’s 2-6 squad into a conference contender.
“Our junior class is a very exciting group that has had a lot of success at the JV level,” Blick said. “They bring a lot of competitive vibes that we expect will have an immediate impact on
the varsity team.”
Blick said Jaynes and fellow offensive stars like senior tight end Jose Rivera and junior running backs Alan Jaramillo and David Beltran will need to hit the ground running in Week 1 when the Indians pay a visit to the Weiser Wolverines.
“The key will be to maintain a balanced attack. Starting fast in each game will be key,” Blick said. “We have a great group of skill kids who all have the ability to score. Our offensive line gives us the ability to run the ball. We need to take advantage of our physicality in red-zone situations. We need to make sure that our offense sets the pace of the game early so that play calling is not limited by game situations.”
Blick said Jaramillo and Beltran, as well as the rest of tailbacks on his roster, will play a crucial role in keeping defenses guessing. With creative run concepts in the works, Blick said he expects his quarterback to pull the trigger for big gains over the top once secondaries start cheating up.
On defense, Blick said this summer he’s heavily emphasized the need for an increase in physicality. In all six of Buhl’s losses last year, opposing offenses were able to drop at least 30 points, with the worst outing coming against Gooding in a 58-0 shutout.
But in the pair of the Indians’ wins, Buhl held the Filer and Wendell offenses to 12 and 13 points, respectively.
"We are excited about our defensive front and feel like we have the ability to stop the run and create uncomfortable situations for opposing quarterbacks,” Blick said. “In camp this summer we saw a better attitude and physicality in all levels of our defense. We are excited about this group’s ability to put up a great showing on the defensive side of the ball.”
Many of Buhl’s offensive contributors will also see plenty of snaps on the defensive side of the ball, with senior linebackers Eli Azevedo, Joe Armitage and Jaramillo expected to make plenty of stops upfront.
Buhl is scheduled to open against Weiser, followed by the Burley Wildcats Sept. 4. Stay tuned to IdahoSports.com for potential schedule changes.